The 12th annual Daughters Day celebration took place on September 24th at Edmonton City Hall. The Board of Canadians for a Civil Society and the Daughters Day Committee are grateful for all who attended, volunteered, performed, and supported the celebration.
Daughters of the Year Award Recipients
Laura has made exceptional contributions to housing justice in Edmonton, devoting thousands of hours to community initiatives to expand housing opportunity and choices. Laura was chair of the Edmonton Coalition on Housing and Homelessness (ECOHH) for several years where she fostered a culture of inclusion and coalition-building, while never shying away from speaking truth to power.
Laura is the Research Coordinator for the University of Alberta’s Affordable Housing Solutions Lab where she has organized community-based initiatives that have impacted how Edmontonians see and understand housing problems. These initiatives were shaped by Laura’s commitment to human rights and passion for housing justice. She believes to address our housing crisis we need to address systemic inequalities and underlying power dynamics – questioning what we assume to know and thinking creatively by honouring, empowering and prioritizing the expertise of rights holders.
Jayanti Negi saw a need in the community nearly forty years ago and filled it, helping newcomer women to overcome challenges faced in their new country. She came to Edmonton in 1972 from India.
The break-up of her marriage forced Jayanti to deal with challenges of single mothers. In 1984, Jayanti and a group of newcomers founded the Indo-Canadian Women’s Association and she became its first Executive Director. Early on, she created a homework club to assist immigrant children deal with school and help with language barriers. She created a “Saheli” (female friends) program to bring single senior women together to reduce isolation and provide a forum where they could discuss common problems. Other programs created under her leadership include conferences to support human rights of women, and development of partnerships in founding the Millwoods Welcome Centre for Immigrants. In retirement, Jayanti remains active, providing advice and support to the organization. Tonia LaRiviere
Tonia LaRiviere chairs the City of Edmonton Accessibility Advisory Committee. Living in defiance of her Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis (JRA) diagnosis changed after her experiences at the Steadward Centre, where she discovered the transformational experience of acceptance and community. This led to advising on issues of accessibility to build more compassionate and inclusive environments.
Tonia was diagnosed with JRA when she was 12 years old and has had 20 surgeries. She is a past adjudicator for the Picture This…International Disability Film Festival. In 2018, she was appointed to the Accessibility Advisory Committee and soon became Chair of the Policy sub-committee. Recent committee accomplishments include mandating disability driver training for city vehicles for hire and transit drivers and improving safe, accessible access to Clareview Recreation Centre. She contributes to the Alberta Ability Network and Old Strathcona Public Realm Strategy.
Mercedes Messinger has a heart to support strong communities in Central Alberta. She created the “Year of Charity” in Red Deer, a program where a portion of proceeds from lunches sold went to support a different charitable organization each month. During the COVID pandemic she continued to support organizations with charity BBQs. She was a Central Alberta Soroptimist International member for years. and honoured as a Woman of Excellence in 2012. She also received a Diversity Magazine Award. She has supported children’s sports programs and prepared meals at Ronald MacDonald House in Red Deer.
Mercedes immigrated, with her husband and three children, from Germany. They opened Messinger Meats in Mirror, and distribute meats to shops in Edmonton and Calgary. She has a love for the environment, is non judgmental, humble and has the best interest for everyone around her at heart.
Chanelle Cluett-Alstad has a passion for education and is a Grade One teacher at Balwin School, dedicated to investing in children so they can change the world. She has been part of the Balwin Literacy Project, supporting children to gain reading confidence and competence.
She promotes student leadership and opportunities that build social and emotional learning in students through activities including the Balwin First Nations, Metis and Inuit school plan; the Kids Helping Kids Club; Balwin’s Day to End Racism; as an LGBQT+ safe contact and lead teacher; Hockey Helps Kids committee leader; official Balwin bulletin board expert; and supporter of any student or staff needing a kind gesture and a good listener!
She volunteers in the community at the Food Bank and Edmonton Humane Society and has a Little Free Library in her own yard.
Delmy Garcia-Hoyt transforms ideas into action as an advocate for social justice, following the see-judge-act model she learned as a young activist. She helped set up the first Health-for-Two programs to support women living in poverty to have healthy pregnancies.
The focus and passion for much of her career have been to create housing and eliminate homelessness. She coordinated a supportive housing project for landed immigrants and today, as successful Canadians, some of the past participants greet Delmy as a dear friend.
Delmy keeps close ties with the Salvadorean community, and created the Jose Garcia Scholastic Fund, in memory of her father, to provide post-secondary education to upcoming Salvadorean leaders. Delmy is a volunteer with Edmonton Outdoor Way of the Cross and Sombrilla International Development Society. She receives inspiration from Oscar Romero and strives to be an effective builder of strong, intentional, and resilient communities.
2022 Sponsors and Supporters
- Paula Kirman
- Michael Hoyt